Yahoo confirmed on Wednesday that it has begun testing the use of Google search ads for a small portion of its desktop and mobile web search results. “As we work to create the absolute best experiences for Yahoo users, from time to time, we run small tests with a variety of partners including search providers,” the company said.
Google offered Yahoo an ad partnership all the way back in 2008, but pulled out after objections from the Department of Justice on antitrust grounds …
The deal would, argued the DOJ, have reduced competition in web search advertising.
Yahoo ended its exclusive search and ad arrangement with Microsoft’s Bing service back in April, leaving it free to use other providers for up to 49% of its search results. However, it is likely that any large-scale deal with Google would again attract the attention of antitrust authorities.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was previously a senior exec at Google. When she left in 2012, Google co-founder Sergey Brin told her she should “be bold.”